GOURMET DELIGHTS: Try Jason's zucchini and scallop fettuccini at home.
GOURMET DELIGHTS: Try Jason's zucchini and scallop fettuccini at home. Brett Mulcahy.

Busy time for hinterland wine industry

MOFFATDALE Ridge is nestled in the heart of the beautiful South Burnett, Queensland's first internationally recognised wine region.

The South Burnett has been well described as the Fraser Coast hinterland, as it sits just an enjoyable two hour drive, south west of Hervey Bay and located between the town of Murgon and the picturesque Sir Bejelke Peterson Dam.

August in our region's vineyards is always a very busy time.

It's a time of year when we race against the clock, winter pruning not quite finished, early spring and budburst drawing ever closer, and the excitement that comes with the promise of another season.

Winter pruning is almost the most important task in the vineyard.

All great wines are made in the vineyard and pruning is a scientific process designed to evaluate each individual vines health and strength to ascertain buds to be left to bear fruit, and ultimately crop load.

A good winemaker must know every single vine in his or her vineyard and nurture each as an individual in order to coax the finest juice at vintage time.

August brang the Hervey Bay Seafood Festival and a time to showcase the South Burnett's hero wine, verdelho.

A long way from its native home of Portugal and Madera , verdelho thrives in our Mediterranean climate, producing small berries in open bunches that ripen in early January, enjoying warm afternoon breezes and cool nights and ready for harvest before the summer rains come.

South Burnett verdelho is now considered to be among the best in the world, picked early to retain the soft acidity and nurtured with a cool slow ferment it produces an amazing array of tropical fruits and kaffir lime, light, fresh and zesty it partners perfectly with pan seared Hervey Bay scallops or some freshly shucked oysters.

As the market falls out of love with the one dimensional sauvignon blanc, verdelho is poised to takes its place in the sun, the Queensland sun.

Always remember Wine may not fix your problems but neither will milk or water.

Recipe

Zucchini and Scallop Fettuccine

Serves four.

Ingredients  

  • 500g good quality fettuccine
  • ½ Cup of Moffatdale Ridge verdelho
  • Salt for pasta water
  • 20 Hervey Bay scallops
  • 2 zucchinis, coarsely grated
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 long red chillies
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, washed and chopped
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper to season

Method

  • In a large pot of boiling water, add salt and fettuccine and cook until aldente. Reserve about 1.5 cups of pasta water before draining.
  • In a heavy based pot, saute the chilli and garlic in olive oil until aromatic. Add zucchini and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  • Add a ½ cup of verdelho.
  • Sear the scallops in a hot fry pan.
  • Add scallops and parsley to the pot and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add half a cup of pasta water and the pasta to the mix. Stir vigorously to emulsify the oil, water and pasta. It should result in a velvety sauce. To finish, season with salt and black pepper to taste


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